BWW Review: DRAWN TOGETHER by Minh Lê & Dan Santat
DRAWN TOGETHER by Minh Lê with illustrations by Dan Santat is gorgeous and breath-taking. It is my favorite picture book of the year with a truly important, resonating message at its heart, and I truly hope it wins multiple ALA (American Library Association) Awards in 2019, including a prestigious Caldecott Award.
What do you do you do if you have a communication barrier in your family? How do you form a relationship? How do you find things in common with one another? How do you communicate to tell each other, I love you?
The picture book revolves around a boy and his grandfather, who are unable to communicate--until they are drawn together through their mutual love of art. Together, they find a way to communicate and find an enjoyable past-time. It is life-changing for them. Even the art, pulled from two different worlds and experiences and interests, blends together and shows that at our heart, we are still the same, even if we sometimes struggle to talk to one another.
There aren't a lot of words in this story, but there don't need to be. The lack of words makes the message that much more powerful and drives it home. It also showcases that we don't always need language in real-life in order to communicate with our loved ones.
Lê did an incredible interview with NPR about this book that I'll link to here. He discusses his own experiences and the message he hoped to convey through the book. It's more powerful than anything I could tell you here.
This is a book that should be a staple in every classroom and read at storytimes around the world. We can all relate to this story, moreso if we have experienced it ourselves.
Here are just a few of the illustrations that make this book so stunning:
I've created a video to show you the stunning art and the way art links these two together:
ABOUT DRAWN TOGETHER:
When a young boy visits his grandfather, their lack of a common language leads to confusion, frustration, and silence. But as they sit down to draw together, something magical happens-with a shared love of art and storytelling, the two form a bond that goes beyond words.With spare, direct text by Minh Lê and luminous illustrations by Caldecott Medalist Dan Santat, this stirring picturebook about reaching across barriers will be cherished for years to come.
DRAWN TOGETHER is available now at retailers everywhere from Disney Hyperion Books.